Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Geese are Flying

Are these things contagious?  How many geese are flying around my house now?
Before yesterday, I rarely made flying geese blocks. Then a couple  of photos on a blog and I am making lots of geese.
I pulled out a jelly roll of fabric, some yardage in blue and purple, and my Go fabric cutter to make strips of the yardage.
Then a quarter-square triangle unit, a bit of chain piecing and some design play and I have this layout.

Monday evening, I did this layout with some geese and some leftover strips:


The geese have been flying for sure. I love the variations that can be created so easily.  Abby said that she likes them too. I wonder what she will have me doing next.....

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Monday, January 16, 2017

Playing with Piecing

Some scraps and an idea called my name this morning.  Abby said "Always say 'why not' to an idea" so I did it.
I have never enjoyed making flying geese blocks.  But I saw a quilt that I really liked that is mostly flying geese.  So I made a few.
When you lay them close you get this
But then you probably knew that already.   They are just flying geese with the colors reversed to make the second half.
A quartersquare triangle is also one that is not easy for me to make and match the points well.  But this sample is pretty darn close.
One thing that I learned as I was getting ready to piece these is that my quarter inch foot and my sewing machine default setting are not a perfect match.  Moving the needle from 3.5 to 3.4 (slightly to the left) made my quarter inch much better.  It only took a little bit of searching in the manual to make that the default setting.

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Saturday, January 14, 2017

A little Trip and a Birthday Present

We decided that we needed a trip to the Florida panhandle to visit Nana. A year ago she and I had talked about a shawl. She wanted someone to knit or crochet her a shawl.  I started one and then it became a UFO/albatross.  Knowing that I needed a birthday present for Nana - and that I had never finished that shawl - I decided to see if I could find a pattern for a woven one.
I found ponchos, shrugs, ruanas and many other woven things, but no shawl. I did find a pattern for a knitted shawl though, and it inspired me.
One of the great things about my Saori loom is the ability to take off your "inside set" and warp without interrupting the work in progress.  I had a plain black warp on my spare set, ready to hang on the loom and weave.
The current project was removed and stored. The black warp was placed on the loom and I wove some fabric using a lovely yarn that changes color in a delightful blend.  A long piece of cloth was finally woven and cut off the loom.  I put the other project back on the loom. The new fabric went to the cutting table to 'become.'  
Here is the result.

The following image may help you to see how simple the pattern for this really is.
Sometimes, simple is simply perfect.


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Monday, January 09, 2017

Can't Stay Away

Sometimes, I just can't stay away from it. The loom was sitting there naked and alone. Abby said "C'mon, have mercy on that loom! It is cold here this evening. Make it a warp so it feels warm and loved."  (Abby has such a way with words.)

So I said "I usually use bright colors and lots of intensity."  Abby said, "This is a great time to go dark. But don't use much black!"
Weaving threads were gathered - including one cone of black and one of a gray. There is a darker blue, purple, green, brown, the black and gray.  So 60 rounds of  nine and a half meters and I wanted a change.  Abby said, "Add a red, and look for a couple of lighter colors."  So with her permission red, pink, a light blue and maybe one or two more were added. After so many rounds of this we switched back to some of the original colors - but not exactly the same.  Once there were 220 threads wound on,  the warp was tied up to remove from the loom. But this time I took a photo for you!
It looks pretty dark against that white door, doesn't it?

You may see that my warp ties are different colors. This makes seeing where the "parts" of the warp are when it is chained so much easier for me. The long stretches are tied with both dark blue and off white - but that is from grabbing randomly.  The yellow tie is the "choke."  The choke is tied very securely so that the threads don't shift.
I chain the warp as  it is removed from the warping board. Chaining is a lot like a giant crochet chain done by hand.  Here it is chained up and piled up ready to be threaded.
I love those colors.  So before bed, the reed was threaded and ready to put through the heddles.  I do both of those using a stand that allows me to thread at a table in my favorite office chair.  The heddles were threaded this morning and then the loom got dressed. Here is the warp roll at the back of the loom.
And here is the front of the loom - yes, I did weave a bit once it was on there.
What you see at the bottom of the photo is the rod that holds the threads at the beginning of the weaving. I think it looks pretty. 

 Here is a side view of the woven cloth at the beginning of the warp.
I started weaving with a dark blue thread so that the warp colors are dominant. I love how the color used for weft can change the appearance of the warp.  My current plan is to only use the colors in the warp for this weaving. But seriously, it is over nine meters (almost 10 yards!) so I am sure that plan will fall by the wayside before I finish weaving it.

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Saturday, January 07, 2017

Play Time!

In the last 2-3 days, I read a book on living life wholeheartedly.  The book is titled "The Gifts of Imperfection" and is written by Brene Brown.  While doing her research for  the book, she discovered that people who live wholeheartedly make time for PLAY.   Now, that was one area that I didn't really need a lot of help in. Or do I?   Hmmmm.....
So many people think of "play" as a waste of time.  As adults we should be productive, right?  but what she discovered is that play, much like rest, is needed by the body and the mental processes.  If you watch children, especially very young ones, you will see that they learn  from play.  Guess what? As adults we do not know it all - and we can learn from play.

So my play time today was with scraps and the sewing machine.  I took some scrap strips of fabrics and just sewed them together into a strata.  Some were longer than others.  When I reached the end of the shorter strip, I cut the thread and moved on. I didn't trim the longer tail off, I just kept playing.
(I wish I had taken more photos!)
I cut that strata into three pieces, flipped them around and sewed them back together. Hmm..not crazy about that -so like a child I whacked off one of the pieces and sewed it back to the other side.
What if? I cut down the middle added a strip running through it. Cut a diagonal, added another -then repeated the diagonal.
Here it is before any trimming  with the added strips. (I did trim the first - pink strip..oops)
The sides are uneven, the strips don't line up and it is totally imperfect. And I love it. 
So I trimmed it

But what if? I cut it into quarters.  Moving quickly all the pieces were rotated 180 degrees.
Well.....that is boring!
I put them back in the original orientation when I saw that.
So how about leaving top left, and (going clockwise) turning the first one 1/4th turn, the next 1/2 and the last 3/4ths turn?
It is definitely  more interesting. But....I don't get a lot of inspiration from this. 

Each piece is 7.25" square....I can add borders and make potholders.  They will coordinate without matching exactly.  So, did my play turn into work?  Hmm....maybe I do have an issue with "just playing."  Of course, I may just toss them into the "orphan box" for use another day - perhaps for more play. 

Several comments yesterday on the post about sewing the vest reminded me that I have labels that I can sew into this item. I got them from Ikaprint on Etsy.  Here is the only photo I can find at the moment. 
 I need to sew the labels into all of my handwoven wearables. 




Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in posts may be affiliate links for which I am compensated if you click through and purchase.